5.6 Management strategies
The study shows that heavy metals do not pose a regional air quality problem in NSW but strategies to target specific local point sources should continue to ensure that this performance is maintained.
The risks to public health from lead have been well established. The NSW Government introduced unleaded petrol in 1986 and leaded petrol was phased out completely in January 2002. This has dramatically reduced ambient lead levels, as demonstrated in the study, where the maximum lead level was one-fifth of the national goal and the average level approximately one-twentieth of the national goal.
Future concerns about lead arise from potential exposure in homes from lead-based paints and education campaigns are continuing to ensure that the community is aware of those risks and how to manage them.
Given that this study indicates that regional levels of these metals are not a concern, the EPA will examine options for identifying individual industrial sources of emissions and explore opportunities for emission reduction programs at those sites.
Page last updated: 26 February 2011